Thursday, November 17, 2011

My friend Liw does the most amazing things with horses - here she is working on a young stallion who has just had a big work out (you can tell because his front and neck are all wet). He is stiff, but under Liw's gentle but insistent work on his pressure points, he gradually relaxes. She is demonstrating the technique she uses - craniosacral therapy I think it's called.

By the end of the hour and a half session (I kept checking back to see how he was doing,) the lovely boy was bending to the right much more easily and his head hung low with complete relaxation. It was fascinating to watch. And that was one happy stallion.

This a photograph of something I remember from when I was a child. Huge (some of them up to 19 hands or more) black Percherons' gleaming haunches, blanketed to stay warm in the cool barn, are just back from showing off their stuff by pulling a huge wagon around as a team.

Here the fellows who take care of the horses and all the tack, clean up the harnesses to ensure they continue to gleam and shine for the next shot in the ring. This time it was only a pair of Percherons, but they often have as many as six horses pulling a wagon. And the wagons have as much gleaming metal as the tack does. There is always a lot of work caring for horses

And as the tack gets cleaned, so the horses get bathed after their hard work. These are special shower stalls just for these beautiful animals. I've seen as many as six huge animals and small being hosed and scrubbed, rinsed and rubbed down to get dry. It's quite the sight.

Missy has had her bath, been dried and now is blanketed to go back to her stall. This tall Percheron mare, absolutely the sweetest gal, who let me pat her very gently, has worked hard and is ready for a rest.

The whole team - human and equine - work hard for their owners, and take pride in the wonderful showing they give to the audience in the coliseum ring. Glittering tack and wagons, prancing gleaming horses striding and pulling in tandem - proud of what they can do - they seem to know they're being watched and work well when the audience appreciates their efforts.

And so I left The Royal - after seeing many more horses, and sort of wishing that at some point in my younger years I'd be able to be a groom for some of these very special creatures.

Dreams of what I might have been or done, are just that - dreams, but often I find these days I can work hard and make new dreams and sometimes old ones come true. Do you find this as well? Isn't it wonderful?

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